A Month In Etc…
etc… Is a really nice little restaurant, for the diners as well as for the cooks. I came not knowing for how long, every few days having to check with the big boss (chef Bartignac) what am I up to the next week. It’s been already over a month since I started, four weeks of actually working in the restaurant (I was sent back to Ledoyen and La Grande Verriere for some special occasions and national holidays).
Why is it so nice? First of all, it’s so close to my place! only 4 stations by line 6 which is two minutes from my studio. It takes me less then 15 minutes door to door in the morning! It’s truly amazing. Also, it’s very small and family like atmosphere. It’s seven people in the kitchen (including me), a dish washer and 3 servants of the dinning room. All of them are cool and nice. I do get along with them, even though I’m not a big talker or listener in French and I start understanding some of the jokes (!). Not everything is amazing as I just wrote on my last post but it’s certainly not bad.
The Menu consists of a frequently changing lunch menu deal and a more stable menu à la cart. The lunch menu is rather experimental hence sometimes it’s better than other times. Still it’s cool to have an option to see changing dishes all the time, as well as having different ingredients to prep in the morning. The guests frequently order the menu but a lot of à la carte as well so I see everything going out of the kitchen. I work mainly helping in the entrée station which is usually cold dishes, sometimes warm (like the asparagus) but not a lot of working around the stove.
Examples of three different lunch menus and the “carte”. You can see me taking the picture in the reflection from the glass.
Did you notice the degustation menu for the dinner used to cost 63 euro and now it’s 90 euro? Gosh that’s a crazy change in pricing all of a sudden, and I had no idea until I wrote this post. Maybe it was a special day today for raising the price… No idea.
Just before customers start showing up, at 11am, we have our staff lunch. It’s very early but I stopped having breakfast (except for two shots of espresso every morning) so I’m hungry by that time. They make a lot of effort for these staff meals, not as much as for the restaurant dishes (Obviously!) but I must admit I’m eating very well. There’s usually cooked vegetables, a salad (my responsibility from all the washed salads leftovers), a main course of meat or fish with sauce, a side dish and fresh bread. Many times some leftovers surprises reach our table from the passing days like raviolis, a selection of fromages, terrine, lentil salad, desserts. We plate the staff dishes and send them on the elevator like on service time. Then we all sit around a long table, everyone already has it’s own regular spot. The salad is always eaten between the main course and the dessert – as it should be - with the cheeses. Then Kiri is making a second round of espresso for everyone. There’s some talking and jokes and then we’re back to work.
Some pictures of the last staff lunch times:
If I stay for the dinner service, it’s the same thing, we come back at 18:00 and have the staff dinner around the table like this around 18:30. I mentioned it because it’s not obvious (and uncommon) to get two meals a day.
When we come back there’s always some last jobs of mise en place and then the service starts. I managed to take some pictures though it’s really not easy because it’s a small place and I can’t be seen “playing with my phone (or camera)” instead of wiping the working station.
Because I finish very early usually, I try to walked back home. It’s a nice walk of around 25 minutes but I try to make it longer going in all the possible paths. It’s inevitable walking pass the Eiffle Tower because I live just in the other side of the tower from the restaurant. I stop to take pictures and it’s so lovely, every weather, sunny or rainy, night or afternoon, every path looks a little different and I enjoy it very much. Here’s some pictures I took along the different ways:
So I have a feeling (uncertain yet) that these are gonna be my last days in etc. I really liked the change, learning about a new place, the atmosphere… the rest. I think it’s a good restaurant for a stage if someone doesn’t want to work splits every day (just once in a week), and still work in a Michelin star restaurant, doing some actual kitchen work as well with nice people.